Apr 19, 2011

On the ice? Four times as nice.

For the fourth consecutive season, the Pittsburgh Penguins ranked 1st in the NHL’s local TV ratings, according to the Pittsburgh Business Times. The Penguins averaged an 8.68 rating on FSN Pittsburgh up until April 1st, when FSN Pittsburgh changed its name to ROOT Sports, due to the network being bought out by DirecTV.

According to PBT, the Penguins also attract the NHL’s largest average TV audience with over 101,000 homes tuning in to watch each broadcast. Pittsburgh is the NHL 22nd largest market.

Chicago, Boston, Detroit, and Philadelphia rounded out the top five largest local TV audiences.

Pittsburgh…the new hockey town? Maybe.

The Penguins also ranked 7th in attendance, averaging 19,457 in the new Consol Energy Center. Consol holds 18,000 for hockey games, putting the Penguins at 107% capacity during this past season’s home games. That was the highest capacity percentage in the NHL, beating out the Chicago Blackhawks over capacity attendance by 3%.

Whether or not Pittsburgh is the new “Hockey Town USA” is certainly a point to be debated, but its incredible to note that the team was last in attendance and on the verge of bankruptcy in 2003, only to now be considered among the NHL elite just eight years later.

As for teams not doing so well? The Florida Panthers ranked last in local television rating (0.16) and number of homes (3,000).

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